2021 has set a new record for the
number of violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming
According to the Human Rights Campaign
Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC),
the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, at least 45 transgender or
gender non-conforming people have been killed this year.
2020 was previously the deadliest year
on record, with at least 44 murders.
Marquiisha Lawrence, a 28-year-old
black transgender woman, was the latest victim. Lawrence was fatally
shot in Greenville, South Carolina on Thursday, November 4.
“We are at a tragic and deeply
upsetting moment: With the death of Marquiisha Lawrence, 2021 has
become the deadliest year ever for transgender and gender
non-conforming people,” HRC Interim President Joni Madison said in
a statement. “Each of these 45 names represents a whole person and
a rich life torn from us by senseless violence, driven by bigotry and
transphobia and stoked by people who hate and fear transgender people
and the richness of their experience.”
Madison blamed an increasing “culture
of hate and stigma” fueled by transphobic legislation for the
“Dehumanizing rhetoric has real-life
consequences for the transgender community, particularly transgender
women of color but especially Black transgender women. As we have
seen an unprecedented number of bills introduced in state
legislatures attacking transgender youth and trans adults, the moment
we are in is clear. They have attacked transgender people’s right
to health care, right to exist in public, and right to live openly,
with the ultimate goal of dehumanizing and erasing their lives and
“Every life has value. Marquiisha’s
life had value. At this moment, HRC vows to double down on our
efforts to dismantle this culture of hate and stigma, and to honor
these lives with action,” Madison added.
Me In” campaign encourages LGBT people and allies to show
support and spread awareness on behalf of the transgender community.